Encyclopedia 2015

HersheyArchives@30, Part 30: Hershey Chocolate. The Great American Chocolate Bar

It is an advertising industry legend that Hershey Chocolate did not advertise. The advertising industry marveled at Hershey’s success without the use of advertising. During the company’s first fifty years, Hershey Chocolate succeeded without media advertising because it had few competitors in the solid chocolate confectionery market. The image of Hershey as a company that […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 29: What’s New?

Occasionally, someone asks: “What is the oldest item in the archival collection?” But no one has asked, “What is the most contemporary item in the collection?” Researchers often equate archives with pre-twentieth century materials such as handwritten deeds or manuscripts written on parchment. However, Hershey Community Archives’ collections are largely comprised of twentieth century records and, increasingly, […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 28: The Wonderful World of Chocolate – Hershey’s Chocolate World

Hershey began offering tours of its chocolate factory shortly after the factory opened.  By 1915, visitors could register for a tour at the town’s Visitor Bureau, located in the Cocoa House, on Chocolate Avenue. In 1928, the factory began keeping formal statistics about factory tours. A factory tour was a popular part of a visit to Hershey. […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 27: Hershey’s Kiss Streetlights

Each year millions of people visit Hershey, drawn by Hershey’s many attractions, including its streetlights. Seriously! Hershey’s streetlights are unique. The lights along Chocolate Avenue, Hershey’s main street, are shaped like wrapped and unwrapped Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates. They’ve been a part of the community’s landscape since 1963, when Hershey Chocolate Corporation president, Samuel Hinkle, suggested that […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 26: Why Did Hershey Sell Its Cuban Assets?

In 1921, Milton Hershey hired Percy Alexander (P.A.) Staples to manage his Cuban operations. For the next 23 years Staples resided in Cuba. As part of his work, he became very knowledgeable about Cuba — not only its sugar industry, but also with its people, culture, economy, and politics. In 1944, Milton Hershey selected Staples […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 25: Hear Mr. Hershey

In the 1920s, American households had a new choice in home entertainment—the radio. The first commercial radio station was established in 1920 and by 1922 over 600 stations were on the air. Radio programs in a variety of formats and genres were broadcast including radio plays, variety shows, news, and interview programs. One such program […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 24: Made in Hershey, So It Must Be Good – H.B. Reese Candy Company

While most confectionery companies regard other candy-making businesses as their competitor, Milton Hershey was different. Hershey Chocolate limited its definition of a confectionery competitor to those businesses that produced solid chocolate bars. In fact, Hershey Chocolate sold chocolate to a wide range of companies manufacturing enrobed, or chocolate-coated, candy. Harry Burnett “H.B.”Reese, a one-time employee […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 21: Insight into Mr. Hershey – The Wallace Research Collection

  Milton Hershey, unlike his contemporary Henry Ford, never wrote a memoir and did not court attention from the public or the press. Hershey was rarely interviewed and as he preferred to communicate via telephone and telegraph rather than through letters or memorandums he leaves little of a paper-trail. So without an extensive written record […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 23: Hershey Figure Skating Club

The Archives’ collections are a rich resource for understanding not just Milton Hershey and his legacy but also for the growth and development of the Hershey community. The Archives actively collections the records of local businesses and organizations to preserve the history of the community and its residents. Milton Hershey took an active interest in everything that […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 22: Service Above Self – Hershey Rotary Club

Community organizations are the lifeblood of a town. They provide residents with opportunities to meet and socialize with each other while working to enhance community life. These groups enrich their communities while giving their members a sense of purpose and contributing to the community. The Archives actively collects the records of Hershey’s community businesses and […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 20: Eckenroth Journals – Working for Hershey Chocolate During the 1930s and 1940s

Daily journals are kept as a personal record of the activities in an individual’s life. Although never intended for a public audience, many journals provide us with a better understanding of what effect world-wide and local events had on an individual. Raphael Eckenroth’s journals detail his work experience in the Hershey Chocolate Factory during the […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 19: Serving the Nation – Hershey and the Ration D Bar

When the United States Army needed a food product that would serve as a survival ration for soldiers in combat situations, they turned to the Hershey Chocolate Corporation. In the spring of 1937, Captain Paul Logan, from the office of U.S. Army Quartermaster General, met with William Murrie, President, Hershey Chocolate Corporation and Sam Hinkle, Chief Chemist. […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 18: Only Hershey’s Kisses are Kisses

Consumers associate a trademark with their experiences with the quality of the product or service the trademark represents. Milton Hershey prided himself on manufacturing quality products believing quality was “the best advertising in the world.” Hershey Chocolate Company trademarks and trade dress were consistent across the product line so a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar was […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 17: Meet You at the Movies – “Seeing Wonders”

While he did not make use of print or radio media advertising, Milton Hershey was interested in promoting his model town and its amenities and attractions. He believed that the town and the chocolate business were intertwined and promoting one benefited the other. Milton Hershey was an innovator and was inspired by new ideas and […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 16: Building a Year-round Destination for Entertainment – Hershey Theatre

In 1915, Hershey had his architect, C. Emlen Urban, draw up plans for a new community building. The building was to include a dining room, cafeteria, gymnasium, swimming pool, assembly rooms, a dormitory, a hospital, and two theaters: a small theater for local productions and a large, 2000 seat professional theater. Groundbreaking was scheduled for early […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 15: Hershey Bears – Champions in Every Decade

Hershey Bears hockey fans were disappointed their Bears did not advance in the Calder Cup tournament this year, but Bears fans know their team is a team of champions.  Milton Hershey recognized hockey’s popularity in early 1931, constructed an ice rink, sponsored a team, and by 1936 built a new sports arena with a seating […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 14: Building a Museum for Hershey – The Danner Collection

From 1903 until his death in 1945, Milton Hershey was committed to creating an exemplary model industrial town for his workers and their families. Historically, model industrial towns featured housing and an infrastructure built and maintained by a company and inhabited by the company’s workers. Milton Hershey’s vision for his model town was broader and he created […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 13: “Hire the Forty Men”

Milton Hershey launched  his “Great Building Campaign” to bolster the local economy during the Great Depression. Townspeople found work building the structures that would eventually become some of the major tourist attractions in town, (the Community Building and Hershey Theatre, The Hotel Hershey, Hersheypark Arena and Stadium) and the result was a town that offered facilities and features unheard […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 12: Designing a Course Fit for a Pro

Hershey’s first golf course opened in 1909. Located along Chocolate Avenue, the 9-hole golf course was built near Milton Hershey’s home, High Point. However, the chocolate factory’s continual eastward development encroached on the golf course, shrinking its size to 5 or 6 holes. Local golfers were forced to go to Harrisburg or Lebanon to play […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 11: The Gift

On November 15, 1909, Milton and Catherine Hershey signed a deed of trust establishing Hershey Industrial School (now Milton Hershey School). Approximately 486 acres of land were transferred to the School together with all assets contained on the property. All income, revenue, and rents derived from the property were to be used to support and maintain […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 10: “I Never Expected to Marry”

Catherine Sweeney Hershey died on March 25, 1915. Kitty, as she was affectionately known, and Milton Hershey shared a brief 18 years together before her death. A bachelor at the age of 40, Milton met the 26 year-old Kitty while on a sales call in Jamestown, New York. Something about Kitty must have instantly charmed […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 9: Hershey Zoo – From Angora Goats to Zebus

Within five years of Hershey Park’s official opening additional attractions were introduced in the Park to supplement and enhance the guest experience. An amphitheatre, bandstand, dance hall, photograph gallery, and bowling alley were part of the Park’s expansion; and in 1910, Hershey Zoo. Franz and Louise Zinner, who moved to Lebanon, Pennsylvania from Heisenberg, Germany […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 8: Destination = Hershey, PA

Throughout its history, Hershey has been a well-known destination for entertainment. After the Hershey Chocolate Factory opened in 1905, the town soon emerged as a popular regional destination. Visitors came to explore the model town and enjoy Hershey Park and its growing number of amenities. In 1914, Hershey’s weekly newspaper, The Hershey Press, announced that a […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 7: To Build a Town – Step One: Houses

Visitors to Hershey today are often impressed by the community’s well-kept homes with tidy green lawns and sidewalks. Building attractive and comfortable homes for his workers was part of Milton Hershey’s vision for his model industrial town. Most of Hershey’s residential area is located on the south side of Chocolate Avenue. The layout for these […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 6: Planning a Town

By the late 1890s, Milton Hershey was convinced that his future lay in producing chocolate rather than caramels. In 1900, the same year Hershey introduced Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, he sold his Lancaster Caramel Company to competitors for $1 million to devote all his energies to his quickly expanding chocolate business. By 1902 it was obvious that a new, […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 5: Maroon and Silver

The familiar Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar wrapper. The maroon and silver package, sometimes described as brown and silver, is identifiable at a glance. You can imagine the many versions and proofs Milton Hershey must have considered before settling on the now iconic wrapper design; the “face” of his new brand and his new product. Yet the […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 4: Selling the Lancaster Caramel Company

What’s the story behind this American Caramel Company stock certificate? Milton Hershey’s caramel business was called the Lancaster Caramel Company. So why did Milton Hershey own stock in a rival company? The Lancaster Caramel Company dominated the United States confectionery market.  Lancaster Caramel products were distributed nationally and internationally. Even though Lancaster Caramel Company dominated the […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 3: “I am going to make chocolate.”

Milton Hershey made his fortune with caramels but he made history with chocolate. In 1893, while attending the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Hershey told Frank Snavely, “Caramels are a fad but chocolate is permanent. I am going to make chocolate.” Milton Hershey was a reader of newspapers and an astute businessman. The increasing demand for […]

HersheyArchives@30, Part 1: Where Would We Be without Family?

This is part of a series celebrating the 30th anniversary of Hershey Community Archives by highlighting 30 items from the collection. While Hershey’s Milk Chocolate is an iconic symbol of the United States, its creator, Milton Hershey, is less well-known. And even if you know that Milton Hershey built a town and funded a school for […]


2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Hershey Community Archives. It’s a personal anniversary for me as well. On February 2, 2015, I arrived in Hershey to start my first day of work creating an archives for the corporations and community of Hershey. I remember feeling pretty overwhelmed by this challenge to start an archives from scratch. I […]

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try a New Name

While Hershey’s Milk Chocolate is the United States’ most iconic confectionery product, not all Hershey products have been so successful. Sometimes when Hershey introduced a new product, the company was not satisfied with its sales and quickly removed the product from production. Other times, Hershey continued to market the product, tweaking the recipe, the packaging […]

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